LHRC Resident Visits WWII Era Plane Exhibit

Alden Smith, 94, is a resident here with us at Lutheran. He is a US Army Air Corps Veteran of 11 years having spent most of his service during WWII as an Airplane Mechanic. Alden worked primarily on B-24s, B-29s, and C-47s.

This week, the Collings Foundation brought their “Wings of Freedom” Tour to the Chautauqua County Airport with several WWII-era planes on display. One of them, a B-24 bomber named “Witchcraft”, was the same type of plane that Alden worked on during his service. In fact, of the 18,000 of them that were built, “Witchcraft” is the only combat configured B-24 in flying condition.

Alden got to take a trip to the airport with Erin, Activities Director at LHRC, to see the planes in person once more. During his time at the airport, several visitors and staff came over to thank him for his service, listened to stories from his time working on the planes, and share a lot of laughs together.

Alden was interviewed by the Robert H. Jackson Center in the spring of 2019 about his time during the service. The full interview can be viewed below.

About the Collings Foundation

The Collings Foundation is a nonprofit, Educational Foundation 501(c)3, founded in 1979. The purpose of the Foundation is to preserve and exhibit rare historical artifacts and to organize and support “living history” events that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage through direct participation.

The original focus of the Foundation was transportation-related events such as antique car rallies, hill climbs, carriage and sleigh rides, and a winter ice-cutting festival in the Stow, MA area. During the mid-eighties, these activities were broadened to include aviation-related events such as air shows, barnstorming, historical reunions, and joint museum displays on a nationwide level. Since 1989, a major focus of the Foundation has been the “Wings of Freedom Tour” of WWII aircrafts.

About the “Wings of Freedom” Tour

The “Wings of Freedom Tour” has two goals: to honor the sacrifices made by our veterans that allow us to enjoy our freedom; and to educate the visitors, especially younger Americans, about our national history and heritage. The Foundation encourages people to tour the planes, talk to the veterans who come to visit the aircraft, and participate in a “flight experience”. In twenty-six years, the tour has made more than 2,900 visits to airports across the United States and Alaska. While the exact number of visitors is difficult to gauge, it is estimated that between 3.5 and 4 million people see these warbirds annually.

Kids’ College Class Gives Back to the Community

Kids’ College, an annual summer educational experience offered for children ages 8 to 12 by Jamestown Community College, inspired participants to help several local community organizations in one of 24 sessions offered during this program.

In “Craft It Forward”, the kids devoted their time to making specialty items to donate to four local organizations: Lutheran, senior living facility; New Leash On life (NLOL), animal rescue and sanctuary; St. Susan Center, soup kitchen; and UCAN City Mission. Items made included: non-slip socks and cards for Lutheran residents; dog, cat and bird toys for NLOL; artwork and laminated placemats for St. Susan Center; and no-sew blankets for UCAN City Mission.

“This class was an amazing opportunity for our youth to give back to our community,” commented Carrie Southard, Kids’ College instructor, “the kids absolutely loved making items for our local organizations. They put much effort into each piece so there was a lot of pride when we presented the items to the recipients on the last day of class.”

Each representative shared with the kids their organization’s mission, as well as thanked them for their contributions, creativity, and generosity. Students received sunglasses from Lutheran and, as a special treat; NLOL brought a rabbit, a tortoise, a black lab puppy, and a French bulldog to meet the children.

Lutheran Resident Councils Hold Fundraiser For St. Susan’s Center

During the first two weeks of July, the Resident Council groups from both the Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program and the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center collected pre-orders from staff and resident families for sub sandwiches as a fundraiser for St. Susan’s Center in Jamestown. The sub sandwiches were made by Tasta Pizza in Falconer and were a huge hit. Over 90 subs were sold altogether and $250 was collected to donate to the center. The residents were very gracious for the show of support from the staff and community.

Lutheran’s Janell Sluga Recognized with Employee of Distinction Award from LeadingAge New York

Surrounded by family, coworkers, and industry peers, Janell Sluga from the Senior Life Matters program at Lutheran was presented the Employee of Distinction Award from LeadingAge New York, a nonprofit representing more than 600 members and service organizations for seniors and adults throughout New York State. The presentation took place at the ribbon cutting outside the new Edgewood Commons on the Lutheran Campus in Jamestown on June 28.

“The Employee of Distinction Award is designed to provide aging services providers with the opportunity to recognize frontline staff who demonstrate a willingness to go above and beyond to improve the lives of frail elderly New Yorkers. These individuals bring a special compassion and personal commitment to their job each and every day,” said Ami Schnauber, vice president of advocacy and public policy for LeadingAge New York. “Janell has certainly demonstrated these characteristics both in her work at Lutheran and in the Jamestown community, and we are proud to recognize her considerable contributions,” said Schnauber. LeadingAge New York members employ over 150,000 professionals who serve more than 500,000 New Yorkers annually. 16 Employee of Distinction awards are given out statewide and only two of those were in the western New York region which includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties. The awards are accompanied by a New York State Legislature resolution and vote. Janell was nominated by a fellow coworker and received three letters of recommendation on her behalf in support of the award.

Sluga is a certified Geriatric Care Manager, a member of the Aging Life Care Association, and has been with Lutheran for 18 years. She has impacted the lives of thousands of Chautauqua County residents during that time, specifically with the Senior Life Matters program. The Senior Life Matters team offers a wide range of counseling and services for adults approaching or enjoying retirement, from counseling on Medicare, Medicaid, and Long-Term Care Insurance to downsizing a home.

“Medicare and insurance counseling, public speaking engagements, weekly articles in print and online, and free public events on a wide variety of topics are just a few ways in which Janell helps seniors in our area live better, healthier, and safer lives,” said Kevin Saff, director for Lutheran Senior Housing. “After many early mornings and late nights, she still finds time for herself and her family and she is quite the celebrity at Wegmans on Tuesday mornings,” said Saff. The Senior Life Matters team counseled over 800 people during last year’s Medicare open enrollment period. The success of the program is attributed to their unbiased look at all insurance options available to their clients as opposed to that of a third party broker who is typically sponsored by or paid by a single company or provider.

“I am thrilled to receive this award and I am very proud to have been nominated for it. However, I don’t do this job looking for recognition; I do it because I love it,” said Sluga. “I love having the opportunity to help individuals with Medicare or aging into Medicare. To teach my clients and help them understand all of their insurance options and to work with them through their decision making process is rewarding in and of itself. This is an important part of their lives that myself and others get to be involved in,” she said.

The Senior Life Matters program is located at 737 Falconer Street inside the new Edgewood Commons, now part of the Edgewood Communities at Lutheran. To learn more about the program or for housing availability in the Edgewood Communities, call 716-665-8197 or visit www.jamestowninternetmarketing.com/lss.

Located in Jamestown, New York, Lutheran’s continuum of care supports an individual’s journey through life with compassion, dignity and respect.

“Summer Warriors”

Lutheran Foster Grandparents are serving as “Summer Warriors” by participating in the Jamestown Public Schools Summer LEAP (Learning Enrichment Academic Progress) Program at area elementary schools. No time off for this crew! Much can be conquered and accomplished with extra hands and hearts are in the classroom.

Seated front and center is Grandma Jeannette grasping the Foster Grandparent Program sign. First row is Grandma Sally, Grandma Sandy, Grandma Joann, Grandma Adrianne, Grandma Connie, and Grandma Karen. In the back row is Grandma Bev and Grandpa David – to the right is Amanda Gesing, Grants and Community Liaison – Jamestown Public Schools.

Edgewood Commons Open House June 29

Months of planning, construction, and hard work have finally paid off. We are proud to welcome the community to the first public Open House of the NEW Edgewood Commons, now part of the Edgewood Communities at Lutheran!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

On Saturday, June 29, we invite you to join us at your leisure for an in-depth tour of our newest space! The building will be open to the public between 10 am and 2 pm that day. The Edgewood Commons offers a new way for residents on our campus to enjoy a life well lived, every day!

Our senior housing staff will be on-hand that day to show you around, answer questions you may have, and welcome you to their new home! Hope you can join us!

Interested in learning more about the Edgewood Communities or the Edgewood Commons? Click Here!

Lutheran Recognized by Interactive Health as Healthy Employer

Interactive Health, a national provider of workplace health and wellness programming, recently recognized Lutheran in Jamestown as one of their 2018 Healthiest Companies in America. Lutheran was one of 151 companies recognized out of more than 1,500 candidates to receive the award. Companies receiving the award demonstrate an investment in the health and wellbeing of their employees year-round.

“We’re very proud of where our company ranks with Interactive Health and stand by our commitment to the health of our employees,” said Tom Holt, president and CEO. “Our leadership team along with direct feedback from our employees help guide our healthcare decisions each year,” said Holt.

To be recognized, awardees must reach or exceed a 70 percent participation rate in their workplace wellness programming and their workforce’s overall health risk must be low based on the results of an annual health evaluation and screening. These companies generally see higher productivity, lower medical costs, fewer workers’ compensation and disability claims, and reduced absenteeism. Along with Lutheran, the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and ten other recipients received the award in all of New York State.

“Through personalized digital tools, coaching, wellness challenges, up-to-date medical news, and a customized annual report on how healthy we are as a collective group, Interactive Health has helped to encourage healthier behavior and habits within our organization,” said Holt. In 2018, 76% of Lutheran’s eligible employees participated in the company’s annual health evaluation and screening and everyone who participated felt it was of value to them. 86% of those respondents met their personal health goals as a result. As a company, Lutheran moved from “moderate risk” in 2017 to “low risk” in 2018 which earned their first Healthiest Companies in America recognition.

To learn more about employment opportunities at Lutheran, visit www.jamestowninternetmarketing.com/lss for a list of current openings or call 716-665-4905 to speak with Human Resources.

Located in Jamestown, New York, Lutheran’s continuum of care supports an individual’s journey through life with compassion, dignity and respect.

Holt from Lutheran Receives Meritorious Service Award from LeadingAge WNY

Leadership from Lutheran in Jamestown have announced that Tom Holt, President and CEO for the organization, has received the Meritorious Service Award through LeadingAge WNY, a nonprofit representing more than 60 facilities and service organizations for seniors and adults throughout western New York. The Meritorious Service Award is the highest honor awarded by LAWNY, given to leaders with a long standing commitment to senior care throughout the region.

“Receiving an award like this means a great deal to me,” said Holt. “I have the pleasure of working on behalf of some wonderful people, both in my community and within my own organization. Their hard work is what makes these awards possible. I accept this on their behalf as well as my own,” said Holt.

Nominees for the Meritorious Service Award must have taken an active role in LAWNY, have a minimum of five (5) years of experience in continuing care administration, and be active in their community and facility. The award is not an annual award; it is only given when qualified and appropriate candidates are presented. After nomination, a strict review process follows by the LAWNY Board of Directors.

“Tom has demonstrated himself to be a strong and very capable leader for Lutheran through his many dedicated years of service,” said Terry Havens-Turner, board chair for Lutheran. “His foresight in strategic planning has ensured the long term viability of Lutheran for our community,” said Havens-Turner.

Holt’s career at Lutheran began as a teenager serving as an orderly in the nursing home. After deciding that serving others was the career path he wanted to pursue, he went on to receive a B.A. is Psychology as well as an M.S. in Health Service Administration. He is also a licensed New York State Nursing Home Administrator and has served as a committee member, board member, and chairman for several local and state-level nonprofits and advisory committees.

Located in Jamestown, New York, Lutheran’s continuum of care supports an individual’s journey through life with compassion, dignity and respect.

G.A. Family Services Foster Care Program to Host Free Kids Carnival for all Families

G.A. Family Services Foster Care Program has announced that they will be hosting their first annual Kids Carnival on Sunday, May 19, in cooperation with Raymour and Flanigan in Jamestown. The Kids Carnival is free, open to all families, and is being held in celebration of National Foster Care Month.

The Kids Carnival will be held from noon to 4:00 pm in the Raymour and Flanigan parking lot and inside the showroom at 1001 Fairmount Avenue at the Jamestown-Lakewood town border.

“We’re very excited to host this event for the families in the area,” said Kara Kloss, Family Resource Coordinator. “We wanted to do something to celebrate the love that families share with their children and hosting the event during National Foster Care Month means a lot to us. We’re blessed that Raymour and Flanigan has agreed to help,” said Kloss. The staff of the foster care program hope to raise awareness for the growing need of foster homes in Chautauqua County.

The event itself will feature yard and carnival games, bounce house, raffles, face painting, fire truck and ambulance tours with the Celoron Volunteer Fire Department, music, chicken dinners, and more. The foster care program will also have adoptable stuffed animals available on a first come, first served basis.

“This stuffed animal adoption is something we wanted to do to explain adoption and foster care to children in an easier way,” said Kloss. Families can “adopt” a stuffed animal companion to bring home and play with. It also gives the foster care staff an opportunity to explain the benefits and resources available for those interested in fostering or adopting children in need from the community.

According to the most recent federal data, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States ranging from infants to 21-year-olds in some states. G.A. Family Services Foster Care Program and others like it help provide interested parents or families with the right resources and information to bring these children into their home either temporarily or permanently.

“We are a great resource for anyone wanting to foster, adopt, or just learn how they can help,” said Ericka Garcia-Allison, Director for Community Based Services. “There are a lot of misconceptions about foster care and adoption. We encourage anyone with questions to get ahold of us to learn more. Having the right information can make a huge impact for us, our program, and especially for the children of Chautauqua County who need a little help,” said Garcia-Allison. The G.A. foster care office receives an average of 4-5 phone calls a day with referrals of local children in need of a safe, loving home.

To get involved or learn more about the Kids Carnival, foster care, or adoption of local children in Chautauqua County, visit www.gafamilyservices.org or call 716-708-6161.

G.A. Family Services was founded on a tradition of caring and compassion toward youth and provides a full continuum of services for at-risk youth and their families.

Over 70 Employees Honored By Lutheran and G.A. Family Services

Lutheran and G.A. Family Services held their annual Employee Recognition Dinner at Moon Brook Country Club on Monday, March 18, to honor 74 employees for varying years of service to their respective organizations. The event was spring bumble bee themed recognizing “un-bee-lievable” contributions to the work environment.

“It takes a lot of people and a lot of roles to make the work we do at Lutheran and G.A. Family Services possible,” said Tom Holt, president and CEO. “To be able to recognize so many new and familiar faces is a blessing. They make a commitment to us and it means a lot,” said Holt. Lutheran provides independent housing, assisted living, skilled nursing, medical-model adult day healthcare, and rehabilitation to adults in the region. G.A. Family Services offers a broad range of youth services including an 853 learning center, residential treatment program, foster care and adoption services, and community-based support.

Members of Lutheran and G.A.’s leadership team presented awards to the attending employees to thank them for their continued support and hard work. Six employees retired over the last year including James Mohan (11 years of service), Debra Spangler (12 years of service), Delores Overturf (14 years of service), Kristine Marasco (16 years of service), Susan Seastedt (19 years of service), and Darlene Anderson (39 years of service).

“Our retirees have amassed over 100 years of service collectively. While it is sad to lose them, we’re honored to have had their compassion and leadership during their time with us,” said Holt.

Employees recognized for two (2) years of service: Patricia Baker, Jawara Battle, Matthew Erickson, Isaiah Faison, Maritza Fred, Debora Hasson, Sean Johnson, Eric Martin, Robert Paterniti, Morgan Schumacher, Curtis-Lee Smith, Mara Batson, Patricia Estus, Kim Ray, Linda Troutman, Evan Abplanalp, Nichole Arguelles, Mariel Augustine, Katrina Bishop, Nicholas Bollman, Nikkita Clark-Brightman, Cody Frederick, Amanda Garcia-Birt, Shannon Gunnell, Jeff Ireland, Elizabeth Kennedy, Miranda Kiesinger, Debra Mattson, Lynn Nalbone, Natalie Nalbone, Emily Norton, Roxanne Spengler, Chelsea Szczesny, Harriett Zayas-Blanco, Kelly Powell, Edwin Rodriguez, and Cherish Wright.

Employees recognized for five (5) years of service: Renea Fiorella, Cathy Linkous, Jill Manka, Liketia McAffee, Katie Snyder, Jorge Torres, Tammy Benware, Alisha Bochman, Gary Golden, Laura Olrogg, Jamiesha Reynolds, Wendy Strickland, Kristen Washburn, Amy Erickson, and Heidi Stanford.

Employees recognized for ten (10) years of service: Kimberly Cotter, Amanda Frye, Nicole Abbey, Sue-Ann Holler, Candice House, Breann Johnson, Marlene Sanders, Michelle Madison, Rosalie Zanghi, and Brenda Johnston.

Employees recognized for fifteen (15) years of service: Robert Gebhard, Douglas Bailey Jr., and Katrina Jones.

Employees recognized for twenty (20) years of service: Susan Swanstrom, Michele Twichel, and Janet Powell.

Employees recognized for twenty-five (25) years of service: Daphne McWhorter.

Employees recognized for thirty (30) years of service: Wendy Linamen.

Employees recognized for thirty-five (35) years of service: Darlene Foster.

Employees recognized for forty-five (45) years of service: Debbie Basile.

At a previous event earlier in the year, both organizations recognized their respective Employees of the Year for 2018. Evan Abplanalp, Physical Therapist at the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center, was recognized by Lutheran while Nicole Green, Shift Supervisor at the GA Residential Program, was recognized by GA Family Services.

“Evan’s nomination for Employee of the Month and Employee of the Year were a testament to his compassion and care for the residents he serves. From providing rehabilitation care to telling the joke of the day in the hall, Evan raised the spirits of all those around him on a regular basis,” said Katrina Jones, Vice President of Human Resources. “As for Nicole, she is known to those around her to give 110% every day. She is motivated, focuses on her goals with the youth she serves, and still finds time to help coworkers in need. Nichole was recognized by a coworker for being an inspiration and she is very deserving of this honor,” said Jones.

To learn more about employment opportunities at Lutheran or G.A. Family Services, visit www.jamestowninternetmarketing.com/lss for a list of current openings or call 716-665-4905 to speak with Human Resources.

Located in Jamestown, New York, Lutheran’s continuum of care supports an individual’s journey through life with compassion, dignity and respect.